Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dead City Cover

Last year, Simon & Schuster asked me if I was available to do a cover for this really fun middle grade novel called Dead City by James Ponti. As I read through the email and saw "Zombies" and "New York City" I got really excited and I jumped at the chance to work with them.
The designer suggested a couple of concepts to start with and I sketched up a few really quick thumbnails...

They really liked dark alley idea with the zombie hand coming up through the manhole, which was one of my favorites too. The book has an element of humour to it and I thought it was kind of a witty way to integrate the zombie and New York themes nicely. I also really liked how the low angle makes the main character, a 13 year old girl by the name of Molly, look more powerful than her size would otherwise suggest. From here I got some direction on a lighting style and colour palette and set to work on the final.

This was a super fun project to work on and I really like how the piece ended up. It was a great experience working with Lisa Vega at Simon & Schuster and I love what she did with the cover design. The book is scheduled for an October 2012 release and I can't wait to see it in print.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Guide Of Souls

This character is a Psychopomp or "Guide of Souls" - a mythic figure responsible for providing souls with safe passage to the afterlife. In Jungian terms, the psychopomp acts as a mediator between the conscious and unconscious realms. I thought developing a character based on that idea would be a great way to start visualizing a new world that I'm developing.

The basic idea of this project is to re-interpret the archetypes of the Monomyth from the mythic imagination of a people that have survived ages after our current civilization has collapsed. If humanity reverted to primal levels of culture and reason and mythology regained it's necessity to the human psyche, what would the myths be? How would a neo-primal culture interpret mythical archetypes in a post-collapse world? What would their creation myths be? What would their heroic myths be? What mysteries of existence would their myths express? What stories would they tell to explain the remnants of our decaying civilization?

These are the things floating around in my head to inspire me going forward with this and this Guide of Souls will hopefully help lead me to the unconscious realms where the creativity for this new project lies.

Pretty heady talk for what's basically a proof of concept.